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Materials Recycling World
5 December 2008

View all stories from this issue.

  • "Hold your nerve" on recycling, EA chair to tell councils

    The Environment Agency (EA) chairman is expected to call on councils to "hold their nerve" on recycling, during a speech this evening. Lord Chris Smith will highlight the need to maintain public confidence and support for recycling along with quality material outputs.In an address to the Aldersgate Group, a group of environmentally-aware businesses and non-governmental organisations, Smith plans to challenge councils that have discontinued recycling services to take a 
  • "Mary Celeste phenomenon" makes reusable furniture available

    As the levels of unemployment rises a Mary Celeste phenomenon is taking place with abandoned reusable furniture being left in empty offices. Business moving specialist Robinsons conducted a survey that found that businesses were failing to live up to their environmental policies when it came to moving premises and sending end-of-life furniture to landfill.Robinsons managing director Anthony Robinson told MRW: We are seeing a Mary Celeste phenomenon. We come in
  • Bellamy opens sustainability research centre

    Environmentalist Professor David Bellamy has opened a research centre in Cambridgeshire which will look at sustainable living, including reducing food waste.The Environmental & Global Research Centre, at Swavesey Village Colleges, will run a food waste project funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.Government Office for the East of England Natural Resources and Rural Development Team senior adviser Mike Carr said: Food waste is a massive probl
  • Bishop tails waste paper trail

    A bishop has followed his household waste paper collection to a paper mill to determine its fate. The Bishop of Birmingham, the Right Rev David Urquhart, hitched a ride with the Birmingham City Council crew that collects his recycled paper.He followed the load to the Smurfit Kappa mill in Nechells, Birmingham where the material is recycled into packaging.Urquhart said: "It is great to know that rubbish is recycled so locally - that is good news for both the
  • Charity stores feel the pinch as clothing donations fall

    The volume of clothing that is being donated to charity stores has reduced significantly but the number of sales has increased, according to the Association of Charity Shops.Head of policy and public affairs David Moir told MRW: There has been a reduction in the quantity and in the quality of donations which is related to the economic downturn. People are not buying new goods and are less inclined to donate. There are also other pressures on textiles, as other legitimate
  • EA recycling claims "unhelpful and untrue", says LGA

    Environment Agency (EA) implications that councils had not held their nerve on recycling during the downturn have been described as unhelpful and untrue.Local Government Association (LGA) Environment Board chairman Paul Bettison was responding to comments made by EA chairman Lord Chris Smith (MRW, December 4). Smith said councils should hold their nerve and continue to invest in recycling services, despite recent downturns in the market for recycled materials.However,
  • EPA grants licence to Dublin City Council to operate Poolbeg incinerator

    Irelands Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a licence to Dublin City Council, to operate an incinerator at Poolbeg, Dublin, much to the dismay of an environmental group.The decision to grant a licence to the council has been seen as controversial by the campaign group, Combined Residents Against Incinerators (CRAI), which has been campaigning against the proposals for the incinerator to be built in Poolbeg for the last 10 years. The group say that the incinerator wil
  • European Commission revamps EU electrical equipment recycling regime

    The failure of the European Unions (EU) 2004 waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive to promote recycling has led the European Commission to propose revamping this legislation.Brussels has admitted the existing system - aimed at forcing manufacturers to provide free disposal facilities - has proved complex to administer and included unrealistic targets. This was 4kg of electrical waste per year per person in the EU. However, in some countries this was too much;
  • Government rejects calls to protect waste reduction funding

    Recommendations to ring-fence funding for waste reduction and restructure local authority weight-based targets have been rejected by the Government.This was the Governments response to recommendations made in the House of Lords Waste Reduction report, published in August.The Government welcomed the report for highlighting the issue of business waste and waste reduction. But in its response, added that the importance of these and other issues had been raised in the Wast
  • Less than a month till GMWDA £3bn deal close

    Fears that repeated delays for Greater Manchesters £3bn waste deal signalled collapse have been allayed as a three to four week estimate for financial close has been announced.Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) admitted that the upheavals in the national and international economic markets had impacted directly on the deal.However, in a progress statement, the authority said that the main commercial aspects of the contract had been agreed and that the f
  • Local authorities target business waste with BREW funding

    Local authorities devising projects to incentivise businesses to reduce and recycle waste can apply for £30,000 funding from the BREW Centre for Local Authorities.Previous BREW grants focussed on tackling business waste but this new round of funding will tackle the environmental impact of public organisations for the first time.This emphasis on the public sector is expected to have a big impact because the sector employs about 20% of the UKs population, which until rec
  • Local authority collections threat exaggerated by tabloids

    Reports in the tabloid press that suggest local authority recycling is under threat have been exaggerated, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).The Sun newspaper said: Paper recycling banks are set to be scrapped across Britain because of a global slump in the price of waste materials. The credit crunch has caused a collapse in demand for the paper - used to make cardboard packaging.The Daily Mail cited the withdrawal of 31 paper recycling banks in Somer
  • MBT and AD can help UK to cut its emissions

    Significant reductions in carbon emissions can be made in waste through use of anaerobic digestion (AD) and mechanical biological treatment (MBT) technology, according to the Government-backed Climate Change Committee (CCC).The CCC is a new independent body that advises the Government on long-term targets to tackle climate change and has produced a report Building a low-carbon economy. In the report the committee recommends reducing greenhouse gases by at least 34% by 2020.
  • MP requests names of pilot PAYT contenders

    An MP has called for the names of local authorities considering the Climate Change Bills pilot pay-as-you-throw scheme before the application deadline.On the day the Climate Change Bill obtained Royal Assent, November 26, MP Eric Pickles called on the Government to reveal which authorities had expressed interest. However, the deadline for local authorities wishing to apply is not until eight weeks after Royal Assent is achieved (early January 2009).Secretary of State J
  • Planning permission won for £80m facility in Wakefield

    VT Environmental Engineering (VTEE) has secured planning permission for an £80 million facility in Wakefield that will handle up to 240,000 tonnes of waste a year.  The company, which is part of the VT Group, won the contract for Wakefields £700 million, 25 year private finance initiative contract earlier this year.The facility, planned to open in 2011, will be built at the South Kirkby Business Park and will include: ·         A household waste recycling centr
  • Prison judgement for fly-tipper upheld

    A waste cheats prison sentence appeal has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal in what the Environment Agency (EA) called a warning to other waste criminals.A 14-month sentence was handed to first time offender James Gerard Kelleher, from Dagenham, for conspiring to unlawfully deposit controlled waste.Kelleher had operated with Patrick Joseph Anderson, from Ireland, who received a record 22-month jail term for serious fly-tipping. Both were sentenced at Inner London C
  • Recycling sector asked whether EU biowaste law is needed

    The recycling sector has been asked whether a European Union (EU) biowaste law is required to reduce the amount of organic material that is landfilled in Europe. In a new green paper, the European Commission notes that biowaste usually comprises 30-40% of the 41% of municipal solid waste that is on average landfilled in the EU.The big problem here is that such dumped waste emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas which is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide and a major contri
  • Retailers opposed to carrier bag charging

    The Climate Change Bill has given the Government powers to charge for single use carrier bags but the British Retail Consortium (BRC) is still opposed to compulsory charging.The Bill has now gained Royal Assent and the Government can take action if they wish to do so to make supermarkets charge customers for single use bags, made of plastic or paper. If retailers do not meet their 2007 commitment to reduce the environmental impact of bags by 25% by the end of this year, the
  • Safety of windrow composting questioned by MP

    In an attack on the safety of open air windrow composting, an MP has said anaerobic digestion should be the preferred option.During a Commons debate, MP Michael Clapham said that AD was preferable technology for recycling organics because it was considered safe and referred to AD as recycling in a meaningful and productive way.Clapham said: As we move towards greater recycling, we find that there is no process that has really been thought out. In my constituency, and i
  • Stockpiling alu cans risks 2009 targets, says Alupro

    Alupro has called on aluminium can collectors to stop stockpiling the material amid concerns it could affect 2009 recycling targets.As a result of the global economic slowdown, recycling targets in 2009 are going to be tough to hit anyway, Alupro executive director Rick Hindley said. Such stockpiling disrupts the generation of Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs), and material that has not been PRNd does not count towards targets.Lower prices for all recyclates
  • Tata Steel to seek Government help to save Corus jobs

    Indias largest steel maker Tata Steel is seeking Government assistance in the UK and the Netherlands to help cut working hours at its Corus subsidiary as the group tries to cope with the economic downturn.Tata Steels finance director, Kaushik Chatterjee, said the company would save £100 million this year from rationalisation in the UK and Europe, including a reduction in working hours, according to a report in the Financial Times (December 3).The FT says
  • What is missing from your recycling bag?

    Hillingdon Council in west London has launched a new recycling campaign in an effort to boost the boroughs recycling rates.The theme of the new campaign will be missing to highlight the household items that are missing from residents recycling bags and commonly found in refuse sacks.As part of the launch and to kick start the campaign, there will be mountains of rubbish piled high in the main town centres in Hillingdon to raise awareness about how much waste a typical
  • Winchester-based college becomes first reverse-vending recycler

    Sparsholt College Hampshire, based in Winchester, has become the first organisation in the UK to take delivery of a reverse vending machine which rewards students who recycle with cash vouchers.For each plastic bottle and can recycled, the machine issues a voucher to the value of five pence which can then be redeemed at any college restaurant, bar or shop.Sparsholt College vice principal Steve Davies said: Were thrilled to be the first in the UK to advocate reverse ven
  • WRAP helps recycling firms in Northern Ireland to reap extra £5.9m

    Recycling firms in Northern Ireland supported by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) have seen a £5.9m increase in their turnover. WRAP announced the figures at a meeting of Government representatives and business leaders in Belfast.It was one of a variety of achievements outlined by the organisation, which is funded for its work in the region by the Northern Ireland Executive.WRAP has awarded grants worth £425,000 to the regions businesses. This
  • WRAP offers advice to survive recycling market downturn

    An advice forum to help local authorities manage lower prices and weaker demand for recyclable materials has been launched.The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) will offer advice based on research into price movements and supply and demand across the industry. With this insight WRAP aims to act as a unique information broker between local authorities with specific issues, and share this knowledge via its website. Information coming from local authorities shows

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